Jenny Offill presents "Weather," with Diane Cook

January 27, 2021, 7:30 PM

Jenny Offill joins us for the paperback launch of her newest novel, Weather, in conversation with Diane Cook. This program will take place on Zoom. Register here: 

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From the beloved author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation--one of the New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year--a "darkly funny and urgent" (NPR) tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis.

Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. Sylvia has become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of western civilization.

As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you've seen the flames beyond its walls. When her brother becomes a father and Sylvia a recluse, Lizzie is forced to address the limits of her own experience--but still she tries to save everyone, using everything she's learned about empathy and despair, conscience and collusion, from her years of wandering the library stacks . . . And all the while the voices of the city keep floating in--funny, disturbing, and increasingly mad.

JENNY OFFILL is the author of the novels Last Things (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award) and Dept. of Speculation, which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Pen-Faulkner Award, and the International Dublin Literary Award. She lives in upstate New York and teaches at Syracuse University and in the low-residency program at Queens University.

DIANE COOK is the author of the novel, The New Wilderness, and the story collection, Man V. Nature, which was a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award, the Believer Book Award, and the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Her writing has appeared in Harper’sTin HouseGranta, and other publications, and her stories have been included in the anthologies Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. She is a former producer for the radio program This American Life, and was the recipient of a 2016 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, daughter and son.